Reinhardt University SACSCOC Compliance Certification

3.4.10 Responsibility for Curriculum

The institution places primary responsibility for the content, quality, and effectiveness of the curriculum with its faculty. (Responsibility for curriculum)

Judgment check box Compliance

Narrative

The faculty has primary responsibility for the content, quality, and effectiveness of curriculum at Reinhardt University.  The Faculty Handbook describes the roles and responsibilities of standing committees of the Faculty Senate.  The Academic Programs and Curriculum Committee (APCC) is charged with the responsibility of developing policies and procedures for the creation, maintenance, and review of all curricula as well as a review of new curriculum proposals. [1] The Academic Program and Curriculum Committee includes one representative from each academic school.

Curriculum Content

As described in the Faculty Handbook, curriculum development and approval is faculty driven.  The University has a tiered process of curricular development.

Proposals for new courses and programs as well as changes to existing courses and programs originate with faculty in the appropriate academic unit(s).  Proposals are reviewed and approved by APCC prior to submission to the Faculty Senate. This tiered process applies to all proposals, regardless of delivery modality or campus location. [2]

Composition. The Academic Programs and Curriculum Committee is composed of faculty representing each of the schools of the University.  Faculty representatives are approved for three-year terms on the Committee by the faculty of the school during regular school meetings as vacancies arise.  The committee meets monthly at regularly scheduled meetings to consider curricular changes.  The positions of Chair, Vice-Chair, and Secretary are elected by the committee from its members at the last regularly scheduled meeting of the academic year.

Responsibilities. The Academic Programs and Curriculum Committee is charged with the review of the educational programs of the University and with making recommendations for changes. It studies proposals for curricular changes that have been approved by the schools and makes recommendations for adoption by the Faculty Senate. Areas under the purview of the Committee are: establishment or termination of academic programs, including degrees, majors, minors, concentrations, certificates; addition or deletion of courses, changes in the level of courses; and study of proposed changes to the General Education curriculum.  Decisions of the Committee are based on the appropriateness of proposed changes in light of the mission of the University and complement to existing programs and curriculum. See sample of APCC minutes in supporting documentation. [3]

Procedures and Process of Curricular Change

Curricular changes are initiated by the faculty and must be approved, in order, by the Program Coordinator, School Faculty and Dean, Curriculum Committee, Faculty Senate, Provost, President, and Academic Affairs Committee of the Board of Trustees.

The Curriculum Cover Sheet and Guidelines for Curriculum Change [4] describes the process by which educational programs and academic credit courses are developed and approved by the faculty and administration of Reinhardt University. As evidence of continual procedural improvement, “Curriculum Change Cover Sheet” and “Guidelines,” in Spring 2017, were revised to better align with the newly revised SACSCOC Substantive Change Policy that now has only two submission deadlines for a prospectus that requires approval: January 1 and July 1. [5] The SACSCOC Prospectus template was adopted as the new template for submitting a proposal for a new academic program.  See Appendix A in the revised “Guidelines.” [5]

Proposed curricular changes and appropriate instruments must be submitted to the Committee seven working days prior to the regularly scheduled meeting at which the change is to be considered.  Committee members review proposals prior to the meeting and, if questions arise, direct them to the Dean of the School from which the proposal originated at the regularly scheduled Committee meeting.  After consideration, the answering of questions by the appropriate Dean, and discussion by Committee members, proposals are voted on needing a simple majority for approval.  If approved, proposals are sent to the Faculty Senate for approval.  Upon approval by the Faculty Senate, proposals are sent to the Provost for review and approval by the President and the Academic Affairs Committee of the Board of Trustees.

Examples of recent curricular changes approved by Reinhardt faculty include:

New Programs:

Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Associate of Business Administration

Bachelor of Science in History Education

Online Bachelor of Business Administration

New Courses:

Internship in Biology

Biology Essentials

POL 3XX Criminal Law and Procedures

Revisions to Programs:

BA in English with Creative Writing Concertation changed to BFA

Discontinuation of Association of Science in Fire Management

Discontinuation of Master in Music

Discontinuation of adult degree completion in Early Childhood Education

Revisions to Courses:

SSC 495 Internship (3 credits) changed to SSC 490 Internship (1-2 credits)

Curriculum Quality

New Courses. In proposing a new course or changes in a course for review and approval, faculty complete the Curriculum Cover Sheet detailing a required course justification and course outline. The justification describes the course and its general and specific objectives and addresses other issues related to justification. The course outline details the content of the course including learning objectives and outcomes and evaluation procedures. See Curriculum Cover Sheet for Biology Essentials submitted by the Biology Program Coordinator to APCC. [6]

New programs. Newly proposed academic programs must provide a detailed description of the program including objectives and outcomes, program justification, evidence of need (feasibility study), and sample syllabi.  Program proposals include comparative data about other institutions of higher education to ensure appropriateness for higher education.  The supporting documentation includes two examples of new program proposals: the undergraduate degree B.S. in Nursing [7] and the Graduate degree M.F.A in Creative Writing. [8]

All undergraduate and graduate degree programs, once approved, begin a cycle of systematic, periodic review to ensure that the degree curriculum including objectives and learning outcomes, course credits, and length is consistent with best practices in the discipline.  Reinhardt University requires that each degree program undergo periodic review, which may include an external review. Those programs with discipline-specific accreditations are reviewed in accordance with their accreditation cycles. See program review schedule [9], guidelines [10], and sample program review reports. [11]

Curriculum Effectiveness

The effectiveness of the curriculum is measured in several ways. In addition to program accreditations, external program reviews, and academic audits, faculty in programs also conduct annual assessments of program outcomes. As part of the University’s continuous improvement process, program faculty determine student learning outcomes for each academic program, identify measures for those outcomes, analyze assessment results, and use the results to improve the program and learning outcomes.

See compilations of academic program assessment reports for the past three years in C.S. 3.3.1.1. Faculty use various direct measures for assessment including major field tests, capstone learning experiences, portfolio evaluations, among others. See sample of direct measures:

Table 3.4.10-1 Examples of Direct Methods of Assessment

Direct Method Program

 

Portfolio Evaluation, Final Exam Art
Research Paper, Presentation, ETS Major Field Test, Embedded Questions (Final Exam), Lab Report Biology
Presentation, Research Paper , Homework Assignments, Internally Developed Examinations Business Administration
Internally-developed Examination, Scoring of Essay, Presentation, Research Paper, Case Study Analysis, Ethics Certification, ETS Major Field Test Sociology
Series of critical reading and writing assignments, Research Project, Web Essays, Mid-term Exam Communications
Lesson Planning Rubric, Differentiated Instruction and Assessment Lesson Summary (DIALS) Observation Form, Rubric for Analysis of Impact on Student Learning, Professionalism Assessment Rubric Early Childhood Education
Scoring of Essay, Capstone Project (Senior Thesis), Research Paper , Embedded Questions (Tests) English
Senior Portfolio, Scoring of Essay, Internally-developed Examination – Embedded Questions History
Senior Portfolio, Scoring of Essay, Internally-developed Examination – Embedded Questions, Research Paper Interdisciplinary Studies
Presentation, Research Project,  Internally Developed Examination-Embedded Questions Mathematics
Comprehensive Exams, Final Exam, Research Paper, Case Study Analysis MPA
Capstone Project, Research Paper, Presentation, Research Project Pre-Nursing
Scoring of Essay, Presentation, Research Paper,  Research Project, Ethics Certification Political Science
Internally-developed Examination – Embedded Questions, Scoring of Essay, Capstone Senior Project, Presentation, Research Paper, ETS Major Field Test Psychology
Internally-developed Examination – Embedded Questions, Scoring of Essay, Presentation, Research Paper, Graduation Portfolio Religion
Internship Supervisor Survey, Research Paper, Service Learning Project Sports Studies

In addition to direct measures, program faculty also work in collaboration with the Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness to create exit surveys and alumni survey that evaluate student satisfaction with the program and examine the effectiveness of the curriculum.  Specifically, exit and alumni surveys ask respondents to rate the extent to which the curriculum prepared them to meet the program’s learning outcomes.

The supporting documentation include sample of survey results for Communication and Media Studies [1213], Organization and Management Leadership [14], and MBA. [15]

 

Supporting Documents

[1] 2016-17 Faculty Handbook, APCC

[2] 2016-17 Faculty Handbook, Faculty Senate

[3] APCC Minutes 2.12.2017

[4] Curriculum Cover Sheet and Guidelines, 2016-17

[5] Revised Curriculum Cover Sheet and Guidelines, August 2017

[6] Curriculum Cover Sheet for Biology Essentials Course

[7] BSN Program Proposal

[8] MFA Program Proposal

[9] RU Program Review Schedule

[10] RU Academic Program Review Guidelines

[11] CMS Program Review Report, 2016-17

[12] CMS Student Survey Results, 2016-17

[13] CMS Alumni Survey Results, 2016-17

[14] OML Current Students and Alumni Survey Results, 2016-17

[15] MBA Exit Survey Results, 2016-17